Some nights ago I was wondering whether it was reasonable to buy an art caddy online. Things are the ones I find more useful are not found in Spain but I just couldn't justify the expense when there are so many things that can sub for an art caddy and when our economy is not exactly bursting.
I left the thought in the air and went to bed early, for a change, only to get up again some minutes later and set myself to create the art caddy I wanted for M.
One of the goals was to have all M's "colors" (she keeps calling "colors" anything that writes or paints) stored in the same container. Another was for her to have easy access to them. Last but not least, I wanted it to look beautiful.
With these three aims in mind, I got one of the square baskets we've been using for multiple purposes. It was a bit too deep so I lined the bottom with a cardboard dais to make it shallower. I then got out some sticks from an old fan I had saved for an occasion like this and divided the basket in six sections. I then found some of the sections were too shallow to contain the pencils without them sticking out too much so I dismantled the whole thing again and made a hole for one of the sections to be deeper. I assembled it back and voilà; we had a beautiful art caddy. Maybe not like the one I would have bought but home-made and free. I couldn't wait for M to wake up and see it. My husband objected it was not very sturdy, that M would take the sticks out, and we would have to be picking it up and assembling the pieces back all day, to what I said he might be right but I liked the challenge of offering her an object that enabled both chaos and order. Our previous set-up had not been very successful at controlling the chaos created by our toddler when painting and we had been picking up crayons, pencils and markers from the floor for over two months. I thought the caddy could be a way of modeling order for her and I am happy to say that apart from the wax crayons compartment that she wanted to take out the first second she used the caddy, the rest has stayed in place and she has been putting back markers after using them. Hurrah!!
By the way, this is the way the art caddy looks: